Before we tear into the anal deposits of the left’s erroneous talking points regarding Oregon’s 2016 militia standoff, let’s travel back to recent history in order to address the beginning of this whole incident and view it in full context, because the Oregon situation has a pertinent tie to an earlier standoff that occurred in Nevada during 2014. And since we happen to live in the United States of Amnesia, we will give you folks a concise and informative time frame in order to facilitate said context…
In 1989 the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service listed the desert tortoise species in Nevada as “endangered.” That following year the Federal Government had concluded that the species is now considered “threatened.” Coincidentally, Oregon Trail (the game) had just been released on Macintosh, during an era in which it had been sweeping across elementary schools worldwide (for your pop-culture information.)
In their efforts to preserve the threatened tortoise species, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) designated hundreds of thousands of Nevada state acres as Federal Land and imposed prohibitive laws on them. For example, severe restrictions were placed on local ranchers such as barring their livestock from grazing on these enormous sets of seized properties.
As the BLM pursued the purchase of grazing rights from local ranchers, one particular Cliven Bundy refused to abide and sell his ranch, which had been his family’s farmhouse since 1877.
Decades of fines and litigation pursued, until finally in April of 2014, the BLM alongside the Federal Marshals decided to raid Cliven’s ranch in what is known as the “Bundy ranch standoff.”
It is important to note that there was plenty of evidence circulating mass media regarding the violent nature of the BLM’s theft and vicious treatment of Bundy’s livestock, which caused an outrage in the animal rights advocates’ community.
After the Bundies had exhausted all efforts to thwart the BLM’s violations, local militias called upon citizen forces for help after the Nevada state government refused to assist its citizens, in what resulted as a monumental national coalition of militia members marching from various states to Nevada, and standing up against the federal agents, succeeding and eventually returning Bundy’s cattle to the ranch in a move that saw the BLM’s withdrawal.
The end result was seen as a poetically admirable and victorious effort, embraced as a true American quest for liberty, wearing the proverbial Guy Faux mask; the united forces of the few good and oppressed citizenry, standing up to the tyrannical agents of their formidable parliament.
This is where an important construct ought to be made: shortly later it was revealed that Nevada state senator Harry Reid had a very important role in all of this; he had been acting as a direct BLM supporter through the proverbial sidelines via his congressional ties, and eventually lashing out at the Bundies, sparing no change whatsoever in attacking the local ranchers and calling for severe punishments.
What follows next however, proved to be the undoing of senator Reid’s already abhorrent legacy; Reid and his son Rory, were both uncovered to have direct ties with Chinese energy firm ENN, which was poised to develop an enormous solar farm and manufacturing plant (described as the largest solar energy complex in America), a project of 5 Billion U.S dollars on the very same Nevada landscape. These reports were confirmed in multiple and various media outlets, and even made international headlines via Reuters.
Maintaining his consistency in corruption, Reid had also been pressing the BLM to relocate some of the tortoise’s protected zones in order to accommodate a one top democrat donor in Harvey Whittemore, whom was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions to Reid in 2013.
Now let us fast forward to our current installment: the Oregon situation. The very same BLM has been operating on Oregon lands, working to purchase the acreages and grazing rights from local Oregon ranchers there as well.
The preface of this story is that land management (for both ranchers and wildlife authorities such as the BLM) often includes controlled fires also known as “range management burns.” These controlled and sanctioned efforts are conducted to save winter feed, eliminate invasive plants, and reduce uncontrollable summer fires.
On two separate occasions, ranchers of Harney County, Oregon (Dwight Hammond and his son Steven) started fires in their own property that ended up spreading into adjacent BLM land.
The first fire, in 2001 was a planned burn in an effort to stop the invasive juniper trees. At that time, the BLM was conducting their own controlled fires and the Hammonds had received permission from the BLM to conduct a burn (court transcripts contain the recorded phone conversation of this particular authorization from the BLM.)
However the fire that was started on Hammond property, spilled into BLM land and the Hammonds were able to eventually put it out themselves.
The court transcripts for this case also contain a testimony from range conservationist sherif David M. Ward, whom happened to be a witness for the prosecution in that particular case.
Sherif Ward stated that the Hammonds’ fire actually ended up improving the rangeland conditions of the BLM land.
The second fire was a backfire that Steven Hammond started in order to protect the Hammond property during a time when lightning fires were frequent, even though the BLM had issued a burn ban due to the multiple lightning fires.
According to former BLM technician Susan Maupin, the Hammonds were in a situation where they were forced to start the controlled burn as the lightning fires were all around their property. Maupin asserted that Steven had ultimately saved a fair amount of land due to the backfire that he had started.
Maupin also maintained that these collaborative fires were common, and that there were numerous times where the BLM fires would spill onto private lands, damaging fences in the process. Conversely, there have also been times where other ranchers would accidently have their fires escape into unfenced BLM land. However, the Hammonds were the only ranchers to have ever been arrested and charged in these situations, according to former BLM’s employee testimony.
As prosecutors charged the Hammonds on nine counts (including one count of conspiracy), the Hammonds entered a plea deal agreeing to not appeal the court’s decision.
Seven of the nine charges were acquitted, and the minimum sentence for the remaining two charges (arson on federal land) carried five years in prison. However, judge Michael Hogan gave them no more than a few months, citing that the “antiterrorism effective death penalty act of 1996” which the prosecution called for was “grossly disproportionate” to the crimes committed, and that anything above the few months he had ruled for would “shock his conscience.”
Despite judge Hogan’s sentencing, it was the Department of Justice whom appealed the ruling. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the five-year sentence, and added a $400,000 fine for costs of BLM putting out the fires (the Hammonds were charged for multiple fires, even ones that were impossible to determine to have been started by them, this in accordance to BLM’s own Susan Maupin’s testimony.)
It takes virtually no effort to recognize that the state, as always, is in favor of harsher prison sentences, supplementary penalties, and maximum consequences. As this process continued to develop, the Hammonds were the last private property holders to graze that area with their cattle. And the BLM continued with obscene attempts at coercing the last private land owners into vacating their area. For example, BLM agents drained a watering hole that belonged to the Hammonds, rendering the Hammonds’ watering of their cattle obsolete.
It is at this juncture, that the Bundies amongst other ranchers began making their way towards Oregon, in order to stop the BLM from continuing their abhorrent attempts at federal land grabbing. Contrary to unfounded liberal hysteria and state-sponsored media propaganda, the militiamen and ranchers did not make violent threats against citizens, nor are they in the business of inciting terrorism. These are ranchers and concerned citizens, standing up for the voiceless, taking up arms in order to protect private properties should the encroaching government agency attempt another forced confrontation.
The last piece of this puzzle remains, in that some of the leftist as well as the mainstream media whom are aiming to turn this into a racial issue, are also advocating the state-sanctioned killing of these citizens. And by said media painting a broad stroke of race-baiting brushes, the citizens are easily sucked into the art pieces, questioning (in an almost disappointed fashion) why white militia men aren’t being attacked violently by the very same government that has been known to swiftly crush some peaceful (as well as some not so peaceful) civil rights groups.
The most astonishing aspect of this sort of logic is that these social justice warriors, liberals, and statists alike, are concerned that one group is supposedly not having violence inflicted upon it as much as the next. As opposed to what the humanitarian logic would dictate; the bigger picture is stopping the vengeance of an overreaching government completely, and celebrating the success of any group rising up and demanding that the government heed to their rights.
Not surprisingly, time and again the liberals (and though the true umbrella ought to label them as “statists” in order to cover all government apologists) are appearing to continuously dilute their very feeble fabric with fertile compost. Much like most of their logical fallacies and economic idiocy, it seems the thought of their nanny-state being absent from rushing to change their soiled bottoms and absolving them of foul second-amendment practitioners, presents them with a dreadful scenario. Perhaps their concern is that natural fertilizer induced by cow-dung will be the cause of their dysentery demise. After all, grazing livestock is rather dangerous to all species; human and tortoise alike. Perhaps they should eliminate the livestock by choosing to eat meat, but that is for another discussion…
Author: Fadi Malkosh
Fadi Malkosh is the founder of Network Radio.